Infrastructure in Agile(Scrum)

Last post 05:06 pm July 8, 2021
by Lyonel Scapino
16 replies
Author
Messages
03:20 pm October 13, 2014

Hi All,
The developer in the scrum team needs system admin help and the Developer can not continue work without the help from system admin. In that situation the task of system admin will be counted as the sprint task of the developer who needs the help or not? Or is it counted as separate sprint backlog activity? How the infrastructure like assigning the computer, getting new software and database for the development team work in agile frame work. The development activities will not happen without the infrastructure. So will it be accounted within sprint cycle or not? In waterfall SDLC, all these are accounted as tasks within the SDLC. How it will be accounted in agile project ? I need help , Someone kindly explain?

03:30 pm October 15, 2014

In Scrum the people who develop a potentially releasable increment are all Development Team members. There is no separate system administrator role. If any system admin work needs doing in order to create the increment, then the relevant sysadmin competencies must exist in the team. The system administration tasks to be performed can then be planned by the team into their Sprint Backlog.

09:36 am October 20, 2014

Scrum is focused on software development, not project management.

Obtaining facilities and infrastructure of the type you mentioned is not software development, so technically those kinds of activities can exist anywhere and need not be related to Scrum.

Here's my question -- why is it important that we account for these tasks in a Scrum team? What would happen if we did NOT account for these on a sprint backlog or product backlog?

03:48 pm October 29, 2014

Thanks Ian.

<Here's my question -- why is it important that we account for these tasks in a Scrum team? What would happen if we did NOT account for these on a sprint backlog or product backlog?

It is mandatory/important to get these services/ tasks done to complete software development in any kind of SDLC to produce any software product.

02:48 pm August 13, 2018

Thanks for sahring your thoughts so far.
One Issue I am trying to solve currently is related to this questions and answers and somehow explained as well, but the Point did not come across yet, would be great if you guys could help me out.

In Sathyadas example, the Team faced a lack in infrastructure which Needs to be filled in order to complete the development of the Software.

How is the General procedure in this circumstances, is the scrum Team considering the infrastructure Topics within the sprint planing Meeting allready and asigning the Tasks to the sprint backlog?
In order to do so, a documentation of the current state is required, when is this done and who approves this state?

09:52 pm January 24, 2019

I have similar questions as Sandhya: for a product that will be implemented using Scrum, what is the best practice for deploying infrastructure (hardware and software [web servers, database servers, etc.]), and requesting subsequent admin services? 

In the majority of environments I've been in, system administration is performed by specialist that perform their function as a service supporting multiple applications/customers.  Most often times, developers do not have appropriate access to the OS to perform administrative tasks because of Separation of Duties controls, so developers have to rely on others to perform them.  How do you build these activities into your Sprint?

12:38 pm January 25, 2019

I may be wrong, but it doesn't look like Scrum is a good fit overall. Perhaps use Kanban - which seems better suited to your needs for admin purposes, and Scrum - for development?

08:27 pm January 25, 2019

In our team such kind of work is done by external IT administrator. It is not part of our backlog. We can add impediments to existing tasks waiting for some administrative things to be done.

We are told we are agile but we are not doing scrum. For example we have standup meetings three times a week. I was the only person in the team who wanted daily standups.

10:23 am January 26, 2019

In my projects we have all the expertise in the team. We try to incorporate the infra parts in the user stories so it's clear to everyone what value these parts add to the increments

Sometimes we need to involve an administrator because of the limitations in autorisations my team has. For those tasks we have an administrator stand by, but not in the team. 

When refining stories, you can already predict these dependencies.

Personaly I don't have a problem with using an administrator that is not part of the team. In theory that maybe isn't right, but organisations have their rules that you have to deal with. Administrator rights is one of those things.

As long as we can limit the dependency to a bare minimum and it doesn't slow us down, we can use scrum with a little workaround where needed.

07:41 pm May 17, 2019

It seems that since 09:36 am October 20, 2014, Scrum has evolved and has been used to create / develop more that software. In short as today May 17th 2019, Scrum is not anymore only focused on software development..

03:50 pm May 18, 2019

Ismaine, have you read the 2017 version of the Scrum Guide?  They talk about many uses of Scrum.

05:54 pm May 18, 2019

@Eric.. that is exactly my point. in 2019, Scrum is used for many things not only software development. I guess my comment was not clear. Back in 2019, one commentator said "Scrum is focused on software development, not project management." Not true anymore.

02:12 am May 19, 2019

Ah, thank you for the clarity @Ismaine.  I misunderstood and thought you meant this was something new.  Have a good day.

10:20 am November 22, 2019

Hi all,

We are moving our in-house software into cloud and are trying to do it using Scrum methodology. I am new to Scrum and in very similar situation as Sandhya and Ronald. 

How do you deal with stories which are waiting input from Infrastructure team for e.g firewall access and resolving DNS requests? Developers do not have appropriate access to perform these tasks because of Separation of Duties controls, so developers have to rely on others to perform them.  How do you build these activities into your Sprint?

Is Scrum the right way to deliver such projects?

Thanks,

Neelam

05:23 pm November 22, 2019

Neelam, the below excerpts are from the Scrum Guide:

  • The Development Team consists of professionals who do the work of delivering a potentially releasable Increment of "Done" product at the end of each Sprint
  • Development Teams are structured and empowered by the organization to organize and manage their own work
  • Development Teams are cross-functional, with all the skills as a team necessary to create a product Increment

Now, does it seem like the Development Team(s) working on your re-platforming effort exhibit the above traits?   

If not, why is there an expectation in your organization that such teams are capable of delivering if they do not have the ability or permission needed to do so?

11:28 am November 25, 2019

How do you deal with stories which are waiting input from Infrastructure team for e.g firewall access and resolving DNS requests? Developers do not have appropriate access to perform these tasks because of Separation of Duties controls, so developers have to rely on others to perform them.  How do you build these activities into your Sprint?

Do these teams self-organize, so the benefits of Scrum might then be obtained?

If so, why have they chosen to form an infrastructure team, upon which other teams have extensive dependencies?

09:07 am July 8, 2021

Even in the case of a cross-functional team, Infrastructure tasks, if not taken as Release 0 work, can be really transversal, i.e. necessary for several epics or user stories to take place and deliver value. Thus, not really meaningful to place them under one specific US. One option might be to create them as standalone PBI (product backlog items) but still link them to the US that will need them to start delivering value. (in a "finish to finish" kind of way if you forgive me the reference...)